The Jury Talks Back

8/9/2019

Twitter Reverses Course, Unlocks Team Mitch Account

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As you recall, Team Mitch was locked out of their Twitter account on Wednesday, and told it would be unlocked when they removed a video that Twitter claimed violated the company’s “abusive behavior policy”.

Here is the original video that caused the suspension, now restored to the account (NSFW):

Today, Twitter unlocked the account:

“Several Twitter users, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account, were temporarily locked out of their accounts for Tweeting a video that violated our abusive behavior policy. The video contained a violent threat directed at Leader McConnell, a clear violation of the Twitter Rules,” Twitter’s communications team said.

“After multiple appeals from affected users and Leader McConnell’s team confirming their intent to highlight the threats for public discussion, we have reviewed this case more closely,” they added. “Going forward, the video will be visible on the service with a sensitive media interstitial and only in cases where the Tweet content does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules.”

It’s not difficult to see why Twitter has reversed course:

Republicans on Thursday launched a widespread boycott of ad spending on Twitter TWTR, -1.05% until the social media giant unlocks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign Twitter account.

President Trump’s re-election campaign, the Republican National Committee, the House and Senate GOP campaign arms and the Senate Leadership Fund all announced a suspension of ad spending, citing anti-conservative bias.

Depending on how long the boycott lasts, hundreds of thousands of ad dollars on Twitter could be at stake.

Trump’s re-election campaign alone had forecast between $300,000 and $500,000 in Twitter spending for August, the campaign told The Post.

Team Mitch responded to the good news:

In a statement Friday afternoon, Golden said, “We are glad Twitter has reversed their decision to lock our Team Mitch account. It is still deeply concerning that Twitter would ban us from posting a video of threats made against us but allow Liberal Hollywood celebrities to post exactly what we did without suffering the same penalty.”

He added, “It shouldn’t have taken an avalanche of outrage across the country to stop Silicon Valley from launching an effort to silence conservatives like the Majority Leader of the United States Senate in the first place. We look forward to learning more about what steps Twitter will take to ensure that this egregious suppression campaign never happens again.”

–Dana

Fallout From Joaquin Castro’s Outing Of Trump Donors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

I’ve posted a few times about Joaquin Castro’s risky stunt to shame Trump donors by releasing the names of 44 individuals who maxed out their contributions to the Trump campaign. While there have been no reports of anyone on the list having been physically harmed, there are reports that individuals on the list have indeed, been directly impacted by it. (Ed. Pre-emptive strike: Yes, I know that this is public information that anyone can access. However, Castro is an elected official who released the information to simultaneously advance his own political ambitions and agenda while shaming and intimidating donors. There is a built-in power imbalance to this, given Castro’s large platform and the vast number of people with whom he can share these names. It’s telling that he used his intimidation tactics on the vulnerable mom and pop donors and retirees, and not on the Big Money in politics.)

Harper Huddleston explained how his family has been impacted:

A San Antonio man was wrongly outed on Twitter as a donor to President Trump by Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro and said Friday the incident forced him to review emergency plans with his wife and three children.

Harper Huddleston said… that his name appeared on Castro’s list instead of the name of his retired father, who contributed to the Trump campaign. He said the mix-up was because they share the same first name, but have different middle names, though his father does not go by the name Harper.

Huddleston said he supports Trump and has contributed in the past to the mayoral campaign of Castro’s brother, Julian, who is now running for president. He said he was glad to have received the negative attention instead of his father, but… forced to go over emergency plans with his wife and children.

“We convened together as a family and talked about situational awareness, exit strategy, avoiding and exiting conflict, talked about staying low and close to home and just being at our very highest senses,” said Huddleston.

He also said that Castro’s stunt might backfire and end up motivating Trump supporters and “galvanize the interest and reinvigorate making America great again.”

Also, a business owner has been harassed and lost business as a result of being on the target list:

For many businesses, a sudden deluge of phone calls might signal an influx of new customers. But most of the 25 calls Justin Herricks received before noon on Thursday were from people who wanted to tell him he was a white supremacist for donating money to President Trump.

“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, we were going to use you for business, but we found out you’re a racist,’” Mr. Herricks, the owner of Precision Pipe Rentals, an oil and gas services company in San Antonio, said in an interview. “‘We hope that you burn in hell and your business will go with you.’”

On the upside, Castro’s target list is indeed backfiring, given that some on the list are his, or his brother Julian Castro’s supporters. Uh, were their supporters:

In attempting to embarrass constituents who donated to President Trump, Texas congressman Joaquin Castro appears to have overlooked the fact that six of those he named also gave cash to him and his twin brother, 2020 Democrat Julián Castro.

[…]

A Washington Examiner review of Federal Elections Committee filings found three individuals on the list who gave $5,600 to Trump… and Joaquin Castro…

Another three individuals on the list told the Washington Examiner that they supported Julián Castro’s mayoral campaigns…

…“It is just amazing to me that he would do that,” said William Greehey, a philanthropist and former CEO of Valero Energy, who donated $5,000 to Joaquin Castro’s congressional campaign in 2013, covering the primary and general elections…Then he’s calling me a racist because I’m supporting Trump. I mean, this is just ridiculous.” said Greehey, who noted he started a $100 million homeless campus project that mostly serves Hispanic individuals. “There’s a lot of things you don’t like about the president and his tweeting, but here Castro is doing the same thing with his tweeting.”

Edward Steves, owner of a manufacturing firm that he said is the oldest company in San Antonio, told the Washington Examiner that he once hosted a fundraiser at his house that raised over $300,000 for Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign…

“He’s probably got 44 people that are going to contribute heavily to whoever might run against him in the primaries,” Steves said.

Donald Kuyrkendall, president of a San Antonio commercial real estate company, shared concern about his family’s safety and wondered what the Castro brothers hoped to gain by the Twitter outing of Trump donors.

“Were his intentions to incite people to picket Bill Miller’s barbecue or to come to Don Kuyrkendall’s house, you know, assault my wife, make nasty comments?” Kuyrkendall said.

Kuyrkendall said that in wake of the tweet, his lawyer reminded him that he once donated to Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign.

Wayne Harwell, who gave $1,000 Joaquin Castro in 2011, then a state representative who would win his House seat the next year, emphasized his enduring financial support for Trump.

“I sure will not give to Castro any more,” he said…

Ed Kelley, retired former president and CEO of USAA Real Estate, said that he supported Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign in the past and considers him a friend, though he does not know Joaquin that well. The tweet “did not leave a good taste in my mouth” and “was not something I appreciated,” Kelley said.

–Dana

Joe Biden: Self-Proclaimed Gaffe Machine Steps In It Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:10 am

[gust post by Dana]

Still maintaining his lead in the race for 2020, Joe Biden misspoke yesterday during a speech about leveling the playing field for low-income children. And it was a doozy:

“We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” said Biden, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, during a town hall in Des Moines.

He paused, then quickly clarified, “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”

“No, I really mean it, but think how we think about it,” he said.

While this is nothing new for the self-proclaimed “gaffe machine,” it provided the Trump campaign with an opening, and they took it. Or, as NBC News put it, they pounced:

Note: “Biden’s awkward course-correction came just days after Biden excoriated Trump for having a “toxic tongue” that he said has inflamed the nation’s divisions, saying that he lacked the moral authority to lead America.”

When comparing this to smelling women’s hair and getting handsy, being a gaffe-machine doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

–Dana


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